Student loan relief options for healthcare workers

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There is a reason why so many children dream of becoming a doctor. A career in healthcare can be very rewarding and offers many benefits. But it also takes years of education and training, which can be costly. The average amount of student debt for a medical school graduate is over $ 232,000, according to the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Fortunately, there are a number of programs that offer relief to healthcare workers with student debt. Whether you are planning a strategy for borrow student loans For medical school or if you are looking for help repaying existing loans, it is a good idea to explore your repayment assistance options.

Federal Student Loan Pause and Interest Waiver

Healthcare workers who have federal student loans can currently take a break from payments, thanks to COVID-19 relief measures that have been in place since March. In response to the global pandemic, the US Department of Education has placed all federal student loans on administrative forbearance and temporarily set interest rates at 0%.

These relief measures were originally scheduled to expire on September 20, 2020, but have recently been extended to at least September 30, 2021. The payment break and the interest waiver apply to all loans held by the Ministry of Finance. ‘Education and do not apply. to any private student loan.

Healthcare workers who want to pay off their student loan balances faster have the option of continuing to make payments during the forbearance period. Since interest is currently waived, payments will be applied to the principal balance. A smaller principal balance means less interest will accrue at the end of the relief period.

Public student loan forgiveness

Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is available for some full-time healthcare workers who work in the public service. This includes doctors and nurses employed by a government organization, full-time AmeriCorps or Peace Corps volunteers, or healthcare workers working in a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit hospital. Borrowers must work at least 30 hours per week.

Eligible borrowers have their loan balance canceled after making 120 eligible payments. Other loans, such as Family Education Program loans, may qualify for PSLF when bundled into a direct loan.

NIH Loan Repayment Programs

The National Institutes of Health loan repayment programs are designed to help pay for the graduate degrees of graduates interested in biomedical and behavioral research. Eligible borrowers can have up to $ 50,000 per year paid for their student loans when they engage in research relevant to the NIH’s mission.

Intramural programs are available for borrowers who are employed by the NIH, and extramural programs are designed for non-employees. Qualifications vary by program, but both require the borrower to have a graduate degree such as MD, Ph.D., DDS, or DMD

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program

The NHSC offers a student loan debt repayment program to primary health care workers who agree to provide care to those in need. Two years of service is required at an NHSC approved site that lacks primary, dental or mental health care providers.

According to the program’s website, it takes three weeks to apply. Borrowers selected from among the award finalists receive an email asking them to confirm their interest. Eligible primary health care providers can receive up to $ 50,000 in loan repayment assistance. Other prices are also available for addiction counselors, pharmacists, registered nurses and certified nurse anesthetists. The opening of the application window is scheduled for early 2021.

The NHSC also offers the ISH Loan Repayment Program, which provides up to $ 40,000 in qualifying student loans for Native Americans and Alaska Natives. To be eligible, borrowers must work in a health care facility serving a Native American or Alaskan community for two years.

Nurse Loan Corps Loan Repayment Program

Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Nursing Professors from an Eligible School of Nursing with Remaining Eligible Nursing Student Loans may apply to the Nursing Corps Loan Repayment Program. To be eligible, borrowers must be employed and working at least 32 hours per week.

The program pays 60% of current student loans to nurses and qualified faculty who work two years in a service area such as a critical shortage center or qualifying nursing school. Borrowers who complete a third year of optional service will receive an additional payment of up to 25% of their student loan balance.

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